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Antecedents to COVID-19 vaccine uptake among patients and employees in the Veterans Health Administration.

LoBrutto LR, Elwy AR, Miano D, Ann Petrakis B, Kyrish A, Javier S, Erhardt T, Midboe AM, Carbonaro R, Jasuja GK, McInnes DK, Maguire EM, Asch SM, Gifford AL, Clayman ML. Antecedents to COVID-19 vaccine uptake among patients and employees in the Veterans Health Administration. Translational behavioral medicine. 2023 Feb 28; 13(2):73-84.

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The present study sought to understand the antecedents to COVID-19 vaccination among those reporting a change in vaccine intention in order to improve COVID-19 vaccine uptake in the United States. We employed semi-structured interviews and one focus group discussion with vaccinated and unvaccinated Veterans Health Administration (VHA) employees and Veterans at three Veterans'' Affairs medical centers between January and June 2021. A subset of these participants (n = 21) self-reported a change in COVID-19 vaccine intention and were selected for additional analysis. We combined thematic analysis using the 5C scale (confidence, collective responsibility, complacency, calculation, constraints) as our theoretical framework with a constant comparative method from codes based on the SAGE Working Group on Vaccine Hesitancy. We generated 13 themes distributed across the 5C constructs that appeared to be associated with a change in COVID-19 vaccine intention. Themes included a trusted family member, friend or colleague in a healthcare field, a trusted healthcare professional, distrust of government or politics (confidence); duty to family and protection of others (collective responsibility); perceived health status and normative beliefs (complacency); perceived vaccine safety, perceived risk-benefit, and orientation towards deliberation (calculation); and ease of process (constraints). Key factors in promoting vaccine uptake included a desire to protect family; and conversations with as key factors in promoting vaccine uptake. Constructs from the 5C scale are useful in understanding intrapersonal changes in vaccine intentions over time, which may help public health practitioners improve future vaccine uptake.

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